Phil Fish Selling Rights to Fez After Being Hacked

Fish is offering the rights to Fez and his company following vicious online harassment.

Fez developer Phil Fish said that he's leaving the games industry and selling the rights to Fez and his company Polytron after hackers obtained and posted his personal information online.

The hackers compromised Fish's social security information, passwords, Polytron's PayPal account, and other sensitive data. Polytron's website and twitter account were also compromised.

"I would like to announce that Polytron and the Fez IP are now for sale," Fish said on his Twitter account. "No reasonable offer will be turned down. I am done. I want out. RUN AWAY. Just don't do it. Give up your dreams. They are actually nightmares. Nothing is worth this. To every aspiring game developer out there: Don't. give up. It's not worth it. This is your audience. This is videogames."

Fish was hacked following his public support of Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn, who's been harassed online this last week as well. Some of Quinn's personal information, including her Dropbox cloud storage account, was also posted online.

Fish has since deleted his personal Twitter account, and Polytron's account has been suspended. He also managed to regain control of his website, which is currently down.

Fish announced Fez II in early June 2013 at the Horizon Indie Game Conference in Los Angeles, but announced its cancellation shortly after.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

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1205 comments
megaapple1
megaapple1

Whatever people say, harassment in any form is unacceptable. Phil and Zoe basically put a part of their lives in making these games. 

ecter1216
ecter1216

So....I dont even know who these two people are lol. Every time I read Zoe I thought everyone was referring to Zone of Enders... Who care about whores and drama queens? This isnt high school. 

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

Don't ever change, Phil.


And give my love to everyone's favorite sociopath, Zoe, for me.



Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque

Be glad people, if Phil Fish was female, he would receive much more support for only being so and you guys would not be able to insult him as it's your right right now.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

Fish is a big sook. It takes talent to make a great game and still be hated.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Also, I want to say here that Fez is better off with some other game maker instead of Phil Fish.

Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

Seems like the only way to prevent attacks like this is to either stay as anonymous as possible, or sell out and tell people what they want to hear over the Internet so they don't get their online assets invaded by skilled vindictive @ssholes who misuse their knowledge. :/

This is the dark side of the age of digital empowerment.

arsy130
arsy130

FEZ up and tell the truth !

justwannachat
justwannachat

If you guys have not watched the "Quinnspiracy Theory: Five Guys Saga" video on the grounds that it might be yet another one of those conspiracy documentaries, by all means, watch it. Definitely worth it, and goes on to expose how and why this kind of thing should cease to happen at once. This is way too cancerous an issue for the gaming industry to be left untouched.

Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque

Here is something interesting



Basically, Zoe told someone to hack a charity funding, that person's twitter is legobutts, actually Maya Felix Kramer, who works in PR at silverstringmedia.com/team/

Their advisor includes Anita Sarkeesian, yes they are all in the same cahoots rubbing each other's back.


CoolCamel616
CoolCamel616

Tip: Don't try to put the spotlight on yourself just to complain about it. 

No one cares Phil, its not like you were even still in the industry.

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

Good job hackers, BYE PHIL!  No one cares.  Sell your title to someone who will be grateful to have it.

DVONvX
DVONvX

this guy has always been a basket case. He never has anything positive to say about anything. I hope he does get out the business so I don't have to hear his b**ching and moaning anymore. 

RogerioFM
RogerioFM

Well I do not condone harassment, they may be a-holes, Zoe certainly is, but their private lives are their private lives, still, they wanted to be known, they are now, so these are the consequences, I don't think it's right, I don't think people should still send them threats, sexual messages and so on, but this is not games, it's a big community in general, there are good and bad people, bad people are usually more vocal, but they do not represent a majority, to be honest I think most gamers are awesome, even if most people I play against on CoD banged my mother as it seems.

Chico86_basic
Chico86_basic

I just have one thing to say on this matter: videogames is not synonym with hacking and personal offense. It's foolish to throw everything into the same bag Mr. Phil!

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

something Fishy going on with this story

StHapns247
StHapns247

He never takes responsibility for his problem. He has some issue where he constantly needs to put himself at odds with his audience, attack them, then complain and whine when the people he attacks attack back. He is not a victim in this scenario and it has been going on way too long for him to turn his image around.

He lacks tact and class, that will turn people off. On top of it he seems arrogant and pretentious; he made a decent game, but it wasn't great enough for him to earn the level of clout he thinks he has earned. If you met him in real life you would most likely be put off, if not outright offended, by the way he talks, things he says, and manner in which he behaves (based on the way he acts online). The difference is in real life you can just walk away, talk to someone else, never think about him again. But here on the good ol' Internet there is a record of what everyone says and you can never escape your online persona completely, especially if it is a negative one. What he gets essentially boils down to an online punch in the face from someone you he might have offended in real life.

Iconically, those who attack him viciously most likely have the same personality traits Phil has, but there are more of them so they will always win.

In short, the only lesson an aspiring game dev needs to take from Phil Fish is to not behave like Phil Fish. 

Freedomination
Freedomination

hmmm.. thought i'd read a few comments on this, and i just have to ask.. Did the entire gaming community suddenly get rabies?

Mraou
Mraou

I really dislike all these attention seekers in the indie game scene.

xHellBoundx
xHellBoundx

I do not in ANY way support what happened to Zoe and now Phil. It is wrong and incredibly vicious, vile, and heartbreaking.


However, he will not be missed. He made one game (that a lot of people liked granted) and acted as if he was a god. He acted as if he was better then everyone. He was not humble in any way. In the end that was his hubris. He engaged everyone and did not know when to just shut up. He thought he was the best and right. No humility and honestly just did not seem like that great a person. 


Zoe is the same way. She engages with these terrible people and just makes it worse. I honestly believe they both do (did) this because it causes controversy and spreads the words of their games and their names.


It is a shame it had to be like this, but Phil, you don't see any other people doing this and telling people to "get out". Maybe you should reflect on why it came to this, and what you could have done differently.

Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

If he had stayed away from social media he would have been a cool silent dev making neat games.


Instead he put himself in the lion's den then cried when the lion bit him. I'm not famous and I know enough to keep my mouth shut on social media. 



loafofgame
loafofgame

@justwannachat That InternetAristocrat shot himself in the foot by letting his emotions get the better of him. By presenting it the way he did he's simply another whiny gamer blowing things out of proportion. With all his swears and personal attacks (no matter how relevant the underlying argument might be) he directly appeals to all those annoyed gamers out there, losing pretty much all his credibility in the process. He's not trying to be nuanced or balanced, he's just whining. He's just another person who thinks his (irresponsibly presented) opinion is important enough to publish on the internet and his popularity will directly contribute to the further decline of internet journalism (or criticism or whatever it is he laments). And that's too bad, because if his facts are straight, he has a good point. Now he will only appeal to people who already had their doubts. He won't convince anyone else. I'm neutral in this, but this did nothing to convince me, because there's not a single shred of distance or neutrality here. He's only confirming that people prefer drama over making a balanced case.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

He has a lot of positive things to say about Fez, the second comming of video games xD

rohitv2312
rohitv2312

@RogerioFM Funny thing, those CoD players banged my mum too, even when they sound like they have just attained adolescence and that my mum is almost a gran now

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

@StHapns247 this guy brought all this one himself-- so the Internet trolled him away...we can do wonderful things if we unite.  I hope he finds happiness elsewhere.  This industry isn't for him clearly.  Thanks for Fez, by Phil!  We won't miss you here.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@xHellBoundx So what happened to Zoe and Phil thats so terrible? That one of them cheated and slept with numerous individuals, some of which were either married or in relationships, used that connection for industry leverage and basically did the opposite of what they sold themselves on? Bigotry hurts, and when a double standard shows its self in a way that it has a wide range of effect...then its a lot less personal. Zoe lied and made up accusations to further her gain without regard to the people she was using as the target. She created a false narrative which a group of people were demonized and sympathy can help her career.

This is wrong. So tell me, is it really horrible what happened to her? She did it all to herself, intentionally in some cases and in other cases as a result of her actions. Its a reap what you sow kind of situation.

Regarding Phil, no one liked him. He went around pissing everyone off, intentionally, and well the natural result is that bridges were not built. Just because someone makes an indie game thats mildly successful doesnt mean they are good or decent people, much less are mentally prepared to deal with others. Phil does things to get attention, whines about it, doesnt follow through and then goes silent before doing it again. Its pointless, his choices cause that impression.

Just because he says hes out, doesnt mean he is out. Its the cry wolf syndrome.

Zerabp
Zerabp

@xHellBoundx Nothing happened to him or Zoe they doxxed themselves. On top of that they have been censoring any and all criticism valid or vitriolic alike. Phil even brow beat a guy into silence about Zoe sexually harassing him. The terrible people aren't the gamers in this instance its Phil and Zoe.

Bread_or_Decide
Bread_or_Decide

@xHellBoundx He's the only one with this problem. Most people know when to talk, when to shut up, and when to let the games speak for themselves. 

xHellBoundx
xHellBoundx

@Bread_or_Decide If he was just a nice or decent person who did not think he was better then everyone else, he would have been fine. It sucks that this happens (no matter the personality), but he brought it on himself. All he had to do was be a nice person.

ehoustoun
ehoustoun

@Bread_or_Decide he stood up for a friend and was effectively cyber bullied, are you familiar with the concept of victim blaming?

Tabarnaque
Tabarnaque

@loafofgame @justwannachat No he didn't shot himself in the foot, he opened the gate for interest in the matter, we keep finding old tweets and blogs and article shedding more and more light on the matter.


What this boils down to, is that there is a clique of influencial people in gaming who use the guise of SJW and progressiveness to gain influence and support and more importantly money, they are everything they speak out against, they are racist, sexist, nepotist, classist, unempathic and priviledged.


They are like a circle of nobles using the populace, they are a minority using the majority, pretending to be victims instead of being priviledged.


The last thing I want to hear is Anita telling me I'm sexist with baseless pop science statement because I'm a white male and I am priviledged for being destined to occupy an office monkey job, when she got $150 000 for being a woman.

adamryland
adamryland

@loafofgame @justwannachat the facts are the only thing that is relevant. If his tone causes you to ignore facts than I don't think you are a neutral as you think you are

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

@henchman_72 @Tabarnaque You don't find it curious the lack of support that a project for female developers is getting, given how vocal people normally are. 

mike468
mike468

Please, he cried wolf and then when people called him on his BS, they tore him a new one. He deserves every bit of what he got.

The dude went to great lengths to claim he was hacked, when in reality he made it all up. Him along with zoe have issues.

We get it, she loves ****, at least own up to it, rather than trashing and ruining someone else's career and projects over it.

She is the lance Armstrong of the indie developer community. **** them both!!!

loafofgame
loafofgame

@Tabarnaque @justwannachat The guy in the video didn't attempt to appeal to anyone who didn't already have doubts. He never considered convincing any neutral parties or people who support Zoe. He's not actually opening any gates; he's simply standing on the other side of a closed gate shouting that you can only come in if you acknowledge that Zoe is the lying piece of filth that she is. He's attempting to 'cure' this 'cancer' by using a hammer to remove the infected tissue. That and what I said in the above comment.

loafofgame
loafofgame

@adamryland @justwannachat What value do his facts have when he forces me to verify everything he's saying? How is the video convincing anyone else but people who already think Zoe is a piece of lying garbage? I'm not denying anything he says. It even seems he put some effort in his argument. But he squanders it by being an emotional whiner who can't look at the situation without getting all fed up. That makes him unreliable. 

This isn't just tone. He's generalising in excessive ways; he does not provide links to the sources that support his claims and apparently expects me to simply take his word for it; he doesn't simply care about the facts, but also about personally attacking this woman and appealing to a specific audience (he's probably well aware that showing some reservation and nuance won't motivate his audience to watch a 24 min video, but ranting and swearing will); he presents other people's testimonies as irrefutable facts, without expressing even a tiny bit of hesitation. He claims he wants to call this out, that he wants to prevent this from happening again. And he does that by ranting, by not even attempting to address anyone who isn't already agreeing with him. And that is where it stops being about calling it out, about creating a discussion.

The internet is filled with these extremely confident, but rather lazily constructed rants by people who see their questionable conduct supported by a significant amount of people, and in the process they're adding fuel to the thing they lament (the decline of gaming journalism). And there's no incentive for them to change their conduct or even critically assess it. This apparently is the way to address these issues, because I see countless Youtubers doing the same thing, not to mention all the commenters. And I think that's a shame, because it hurts their own desire to have impartial and focused journalism that isn't dictated by what people like to whine about.

henchman_72
henchman_72

@AyatollaofRnR @henchman_72 @Tabarnaque I don't know Zoe's reasons for doing what she did. But having inexperienced female developers pitch an idea then having their contribution be nothing more than an idea without participation is questionable on Fine Young Capitalists' part. From what I understand the female developers contributing weren't really contributing.

ehoustoun
ehoustoun

@mike468 There's so much to unpack from that I don't even know where to begin...


I think it's a sad mentality to think that someone having their private information aired across the internet 'deserves every bit of what they got' because really no one deserves that. Conversely if he 'made it all up' then I guess he didn't get anything at all...making your position a bit muddled.


Anyhow, I'm sensing a lot of hate and anger from your position so I'm not really going to try reasoning with you on this. Just going to say I hope someday you get some perspective that gives you a bit more empathy, because honestly the world doesn't need more people saying **** 'em when people get attacked.

ehoustoun
ehoustoun

@Bread_or_Decide @ehoustoun aww man... that's a horrible way to look at things.


I hope you were never actually bullied and dealt with it like that, because honestly if you were you deserved to have someone say something, everyone deserves that. It's not kindling if everyone says something, its a blanket. The best way to deal with bullies in any form is for the majority to smother the bad behaviour by making it clear that no one wants it.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@loafofgame @Tabarnaque @justwannachat 

Loaf, you are simply wrong.  What you are presenting is a confirmation bias, one that keeps you from objectively looking at the video in question. Its not even about the video really, but the events and really you shouldnt have to "do much searching" because its literally ALL ON ONE PAGE... the source of where all this discussion stems. Just google thezoepost and there you go. Its not rocket science and to be quite frank, he pointed out in the video.

His dialog does open up the discussion on the inherent problems in this industry, and if you need to oppose that line of thought, then you have the chance to put forth a coherent counter argument as a result. Either way the discussion has started. Its a real big shame too because the social justice crowd, aka the social engineering types, have set their eyes on yet another form of mass media in which to control and indoctrinate. It goes right back to the enforcement of emotion and sentiment over objectivity and honesty.

It seems silly however that you choose to take the mantle of being a film director when it comes to one youtube video trying to make a case for why it, the corruption and the censorship, actually matters.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@henchman_72 Those whose ideas were used were to get a 6% royalty from the sales, and the other revue was going to charity.

That changes things a bit, dont you think? Its amazing what leaving out key information can do in regards to perceived intent.

mike468
mike468

I don't think i stated it clearly, but from my understanding of the situation. Phil fish defended zoe and trashed other people online, who where calling her out on not just sexual harassment, but also ethics violations. When he got **** for it, he started claiming her got hacked. More knowledgeable people looked into it and found out that he actually made the whole thing up about being hacked. He basically hacked himself with a dummy account and then cried wolf. So as payback he got hacked and harassed for real.

This isn't the first time the guy has claimed he was hacked either:

http://www.gamespot.com/articles/fez-creator-phil-fish-youtubers-should-pay-game-devs-huge-portion-of-revenue/1100-6420573/

IMO the guy is a sociopath and desrvers every bit of **** he has gotten. I'm sorry you feel the need to sympathize with someone who clearly has issues.

People like him and Zoe are in a position that they feel they can abuse whatever power they have. The only way they're going to get the hint that they are overstepping their boundaries is to be taken down a peg or two. Is some of it overkill, probably? But you get what you put out. The two of them have treated the community like **** and you just act like it should be water under the bridge.

loafofgame
loafofgame

@Shiftfallout @Tabarnaque @justwannachat Again, I'm not denying the evidence. My comment was never about his facts. It was all about the way he structured and presented them. There's another video by ReviewTechUSA, in which he talks with MundaneMatt about the issue. In my opinion that's how you discuss this problem. And by the way, thezoepost is not the only source being used in the InternetAristocrat video. Again, I'm not taking Zoe's side. I'm simply saying InternetAristocrat gives me reasons to doubt him (reasons I have mentioned above) and I don't think his conduct is making his case convincing or reasonable, which is important to convince other people than the ones who are already very sceptical.

I would not be saying this if he didn't explicitly stated that he wants to call this out, that he wants to create a discussion. A one-sided monologue is not a discussion. A chat among people who agree is not a discussion. He's not attempting to draw in or invite people who are more reserved or indifferent (or against his opinion). You know, people who can actually help to further his cause. I think the other video I mentioned does a much better job at that and they pretty much express the same opinion as InternetAristocrat.

I do not need to oppose his line of thought, I need to oppose his conduct, because yes, I think that's very important in convincingly addressing a problem like corruption. The guy is being emotional and he's not being objective or neutral and I don't think the fact that he's not a professional journalist frees him from some responsibility in that area, especially if trustworthy journalism is what he wishes for.

henchman_72
henchman_72

@Shiftfallout @henchman_72 Why couch it in this idea that it is to support female developers when they really aren't? Just run a charity.


Yeah, but you are surrendering all creative rights to FYC. Why do they get ownership and say well here's 6% for your idea, thank you. Why even present the charity in the manner they did when there are way better options for developers. Just run a charity.

ehoustoun
ehoustoun

@tableofjapan @ehoustoun @Bread_or_Decide That's not really how bullying works either man. Bullies don't want attention they want validation, typically by intimidating or dominating another person. It makes me sad because the people that lash out online are typically the ones who are bullied the most and feel the most powerless against real bullying.


I've never been bullied in any meaningful way, I'm lucky to say. I'm a big guy and I've always been fairly athletic so people don't typical pick fights with me. But it's that same reason that I'm always quick to say something when I see someone else getting bullied, because I'm lucky enough be in that position. But you don't need to be big to say something, you just need to have the support of those around you, or of law enforcement. There are a lot of ways to be brave and to help people that are being bullied or abused. 


I'm not sure if you're resentful because no one stood up for you, or because you are just cynical and you don't see the point in standing up for others, but inaction is the ugliest type of evil in a person. Knowing something is wrong and doing nothing to stop it is just about the worst thing a person can do.

Shiftfallout
Shiftfallout

@henchman_72 @Shiftfallout Well sure they are, anyone who contributes to the development of the product (or in this case the game design document) is technically a developer. The idea or notion is to get them started... and think about how often people who want to get into games think its just about being able to pitch their ideas.

Most little boys get laughed at when they think they can get a job or make money that way in the industry. Whats happening here is a means to make such an approach open for an under represented gender in the industry.

Being able to pitch an idea (which is not really that amazing, since more developers would be interested in playable prototypes than just mere ideas) and get 6% + contribute to charity is extremely gratuitous.

On the nature of ownership... how do you think it works with the current publisher set up? If I concept and model some designs for the next big blizzard game, do you think I would own the rights to that art? It doesnt work that way. Same thing with ideas. Its either the publisher or the studio that owns the IP, thats it. Think about if that IP really took off, that one person who contributed an idea can get paid for only doing very little bit of work as long as that IP is selling copies. That money can go into putting that individual through school to learn game programming or art, or to fund their next project.

Try to keep it in perspective.

henchman_72
henchman_72

@Shiftfallout @henchman_72 It's probably not the main issue for people but that's not a meaningful creative path. If all it takes is an idea without work or understanding, then we are all qualified developers.


That can't be your only avenue for tuition. But I do see the point. It would have been nice if they used it as a learning opportunity. Give the aspiring developers an idea of what it takes to develop a game. Which would have changed the whole message. The way they worded it was like: give us your idea and here's some cash.


The biggest issue with all of this is the idea that, some how, Zoe was taking the world for a ride.